Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Amish Paste Tomato
This is not a new plant, but rather one that has been around for over a hundred years. The heirloom Amish Paste tomato is one of the meatiest, largest paste tomatoes available. Best of all, it has a good taste when eaten fresh, unlike some of the other Roma types which are best left for the canner. Amish Paste is a determinate tomato variety and will grow to about four feet. It must be supported because the fruits are about four to five inches long and very heavy. A solid tomato cage or bamboo teepee is just the right type of support.

Clever Gardening Technique

Cover Your Beds Inexpensively
You can construct a fairly simple cover system for raised beds with one inch PVC pipe. Simply fasten pipe clamps to the inside of the bed sides at about two foot intervals, and slip an eight or ten foot pipe into the clamps, bend it over the bed and slip it into the other side. This simple system can support row covers to keep cabbage moths off broccoli and kale or to shade lettuce, and then the frame can be covered with plastic to extend the season in fall and spring.

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